An Astrologer's Day

by R. K. Narayan

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Describe the character Guru Nayak in "An Astrologer's Day."

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Guru Nayak forces the astrologer to come to terms with his violent, criminal past. Guru approaches the astrologer wishing to discover the identity of the man who, many years before, stabbed him, dumped him down a well, and left him for dead. Even without consulting his crystal ball, the astrologer already knows the identity of this brutal thug. It was him. He was the one who savagely attacked Guru, and he's been living with the guilt ever since.

We gather from Guru's expressed desire to choke the life out of his assailant that he is a vengeful man who will stop at nothing to get payback. It's not enough that the man who tried to kill him should die; he must suffer for his crimes. The fact that Guru's clearly been out for revenge for all these years indicates that he's deeply bitter about what happened, and understandably so.

Knowing just what kind of person he's dealing with, the astrologer tries to reassure Guru that his attacker did indeed suffer an appropriate death, crushed beneath the wheels of a truck. It's notable that "the other [i.e., Guru Nayak] looked gratified to hear it." It would appear that his desire for revenge has at last been satisfied.

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